Thyroid dysfunction is a very common problem I see frequently in the office. Addressing a thyroid can be a simple fix or may take some serious investigative work. I would like to address a few of the common causes of thyroid problems and how correct these issues.
When our thyroid hormones get low our brain creates a hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to signal to the thyroid to make more hormones. The thyroid gland will respond to the TSH and make more of our thyroid hormones, T4, T3, and reverse T3 (rT3). We can make T3 and rT3 from T4. T3 is our most active thyroid hormone, it is 4x stronger than T4. rT3 does not effect your metabolism but will block our T3 causing low thyroid symptoms. Since the brain only senses hormone levels not hormone effectiveness, elevations of rT3 will not alter TSH, T4 or T3 blood levels. To really understand thyroid function all of these hormones need to be checked.
Adrenals, Stress and Cortisol
Our adrenal hormones are often times overlooked as a cause of many conditions. We will limit this article to how it effects our thyroid. When we are stressed our adrenal glads make a few hormones to help us deal with the stress. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by our adrenal glands to help us mange stress. If you are chronically stressed, you may have high cortisol levels. This is a problem for your thyroid because cortisol will cause an elevation in reverse T3. Cortisol is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. If you have high levels of inflammation from food allergies, a poor diet, candida overgrowth, chronic disease, etc you will likely have elevated cortisol levels and a sluggish thyroid. It is always a good idea to measure blood cortisol levels when evaluating a thyroid.
Iodine deficiency is a common cause of sluggish thyroid. We make thyroid hormones from iodine, tyrosine and other building blocks. Some studies have shown that our daily need for iodine is as high as 12.5 mg, the RDA for iodine is 0.15 mg. If you don't regularly eat seafood there is a good chance you are iodine deficient.
Immune System Dysfunction
Hashimoto's disease is a common autoimmune disorder. The immune system attacks the thyroid gland and damages it. This damage makes the thyroid gland unable to efficiently do its job and make thyroid hormones. Immune system dysfunction is very complicated but can be helped by reducing offending factors like intestinal hyper permeability AKA leaky gut syndrome, adrenal fatigue, and food allergies.
If you suffer from symptoms of low thyroid function and would like a comprehensive evaluation to help correct the cause of the problem our number is 801-798-2515
Article written by Dr. Steven E. Davis, chiropractic physician.